The Olivet Discourse

Discussions on Christian eschatology including different views pertaining to Jesus' second coming, rapture and tribulation, the millennium, and so forth.
DBowling
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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#76

Post by DBowling » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:48 pm

Philip wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:59 pm
DB: However, I do embrace the "already" "not yet" premise on a number of Scriptural topics. I believe that there was one and only one Great Tribulation that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and brought an end to the remnants of the Old Covenant. However, Christians of every age have gone through tribulation. John's specific prophecies about the Beast were fulfilled by Nero Caesar and Rome at the time of John. However, there have been many 'beastly' rulers, organizations, and nations since the time of Nero. So just because a specific prophecy was fulfilled in a specific time frame ("already") that same prophecy can still have relevance and application to similar situations throughout history ("not yet").
DB, particularly per your underlined statement above, IF there is tribulation still to come - while perhaps not precisely as John warned of - does that mean NO theorized rapture per a future tribulation is possible? Again, Heiser notes, ""With no seven year tribulation pending, there's no rapture pending, since all views of the rapture see it as logically having something to do with escaping a great tribulation or separating the Church from Israel."
I agree with Heiser here...
There are two major problems with the Pre-trib Rapture.
1. The Olivet Discourse tells us pretty explicitly that "the Great Tribulation" took place around 70 AD.
2. 1 Thes 4:16-17 refers to the second coming of Jesus and the Resurrection.
The pre-trib rapture really has no Scriptural basis.
And some of what he alluded to might mesh with what you state about prophetic meanings applicable (see ongoing) to the past and the present (per your "already" and your "not yet" juxtapositioned opinion). And this is where Heiser seems to counsel Christians to give up on trying to figure this stuff out.
Actually, Heiser does embrace the "already-not-yet" approach to prophecy.
There is a lot that I do agree with Heiser on.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#77

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:16 am

Christians should try to stop trying to figure out the whole "end of times" thing, when and where and all that.
I mean, Jesus Himself says to not try to do that.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#78

Post by DBowling » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:17 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:16 am
Christians should try to stop trying to figure out the whole "end of times" thing, when and where and all that.
I mean, Jesus Himself says to not try to do that.
Just to point out...

I have not made any claim to know when the Second Coming will take place. As you point out, Jesus tells us that we cannot know the time, so we should be ready at any time.

I am not attempting to make any kind of prediction regarding the Second Coming of Jesus.

However, in the Olivet discourse Jesus gives specific signs and timing for the Great Tribulation, so I think discussions surrounding the timing of the Great Tribulation are legitimate... and Scriptural.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#79

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:27 am

DBowling wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:17 am
PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:16 am
Christians should try to stop trying to figure out the whole "end of times" thing, when and where and all that.
I mean, Jesus Himself says to not try to do that.
Just to point out...

I have not made any claim to know when the Second Coming will take place. As you point out, Jesus tells us that we cannot know the time, so we should be ready at any time.

I am not attempting make any kind of prediction regarding the Second Coming of Jesus.

However, in the Olivet discourse Jesus gives specific signs and timing for the Great Tribulation, so I think discussions surrounding the timing of the Great Tribulation are legitimate... and Scriptural.
Oh for sure, and I think that fact that Jesus gave SPECIFIC signs for THAT and NOT for the end of times, means a lot.

IMO, ALL prophecy has elements of past, present and future in them.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#80

Post by Philip » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:56 am

Paul: IMO, ALL prophecy has elements of past, present and future in them.
Yes, and thus the "already" and the "not yet."

As for what we DON'T have adequate prophetic understandings of the future, God obviously doesn't see that we yet need to have information we might incorrectly apply. He'll guide us whenever and however we need to know concerning His plan for earth events and as we approach the end of history. The biggest change in history has been, since the '40s, man truly has the power and technology to annihilate each other and the planet itself. The more I see the daily news, I marvel that the only thing that keeps this planet from quickly going up in flames is that God is holding things together as He gathers people to Himself - ALL those who He knows will eventually embrace Him. Once there are no such people left - that's is when I would expect Jesus to come back for His Bride the Church.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#81

Post by Stu » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:01 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:16 am
Christians should try to stop trying to figure out the whole "end of times" thing, when and where and all that.
I mean, Jesus Himself says to not try to do that.
Wrong. Yes we won't know the time of Jesus' return. But we can tell the signs of the anti-christ, mark of the beast, etc.

Stop trying to figure it out?? The Bible is full of end time discussion, it wouldn't be there if it wasn't important. Isn't it almost as if God wants us to be prepared..... lest even the elect be deceived.
Only when the blood runs and the shackles restrain, will the sheep then awake. When all is lost.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#82

Post by Philip » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:06 pm

Stu: Stop trying to figure it out?? The Bible is full of end time discussion, it wouldn't be there if it wasn't important. Isn't it almost as if God wants us to be prepared..... lest even the elect be deceived.
Of course God wants us to have information to realize A) this age will eventually end, B) that Christ will then return and we should be ready, and C) that any prophetic clues that will be important to understand IN THE FUTURE, that are currently impossible to accurately understand the applicable details of NOW, are still nonetheless important. And that if we force what we cannot perfectly understand NOW into our current and mostly wrongly perceived theological constructs, then we will become obsessed and waste time over what He doesn't mean for us to YET fully understand. If these things were so clear, we wouldn't have so many different viewpoints coming so many faith-filled Christians who take prophecy and Scripture so seriously.

So many Christians gauge our closeness to Christ return by the darkness of the world, tragic events and evil. And yet, no serious student of history should think we necessarily live amongst any greater evils that of the days after the Apostles or of the past 100 years have already produced - particularly when we think of the brutalities of the Roman Empire, world wars, the Nazis, ISIS and other Islamist factions. Think of the Nazis - with their broken cross symbol, their leaders obsessed with killing those of God's chosen nation of Israel - and sharing the very same evil obsession with the Islamists of this century. How many Christians must have thought surely the end was nigh. And yet, what does Scripture say - if not that when the world LEAST expects Jesus return, then THAT will precisely be when He will - "like a thief in the night":

1 Thessalonians 5: "1Now about the times and seasons, brothers, we do not need to write to you. 2For you are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “Peace and security,” destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

4But you, brothers, are not in the darkness so that this day should overtake you like a thief. 5For you are all sons of the light and sons of the day; we do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not sleep as the others do, but let us remain awake and sober."

As for being prepared, are we to think we should have stockpiles and weapons and some place to flee for safety? NO! And note what the Psalmist wrote: "The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength."
So, what exactly will be the "preparedness" for the "Day of the Lord," if not that one is prepared to meet the Jesus they have already committed themselves to before that Day? So, the preparation isn't just acquiring proper, detailed knowledge of some epic future event getting ready to go down, or making clever, strategic plans to avoid any associated calamities as that day approaches, but IS one of being SPIRITUALLY prepared for that Day. Christ will protect, guide and embrace those Who are His - those who have great hope in that Day that they are not under His condemnation and wrath! It is salvation and faith that GOD will guide and protect us, and not that we've mastered an understanding of Last Days events. And even if we die under difficult circumstances during the present age - God has us in His hands. And we must admit that, currently, there is considerable mystery, some seeming conflicts, and uncertainty as to what we can currently know about that Day.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#83

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:30 pm

Stu wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:01 am
PaulSacramento wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:16 am
Christians should try to stop trying to figure out the whole "end of times" thing, when and where and all that.
I mean, Jesus Himself says to not try to do that.
Wrong. Yes we won't know the time of Jesus' return. But we can tell the signs of the anti-christ, mark of the beast, etc.

Stop trying to figure it out?? The Bible is full of end time discussion, it wouldn't be there if it wasn't important. Isn't it almost as if God wants us to be prepared..... lest even the elect be deceived.
Being vigilant to the signs is NOT the same as trying to figure out the time, you realize that right?

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#84

Post by Philip » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:44 pm

Paul: Being vigilant to the signs is NOT the same as trying to figure out the time, you realize that right?
EXACTLY! Note the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:

"5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept."

Christ is the bridegroom - and as He did not come as soon as anticipated, the ones caught without oil (without the light of faith of Christ within) - were caught by surprise, they weren't ready for Him - (they had not the faith in Christ). And so as these foolish virgins went to seek oil (or whatever things the foolish will be seeking), just as Jesus returns, it will be too late.

"10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut." And so it will be of the ones without the light of God and faith within them, on that day of His return, "the door" (the hour of the present opportunity to still come to faith in Christ) will have past, trapping the "foolish virgins" (rather, all unbelievers upon Christ return).

So, the preparation of the prepared virgins (of Christians in that day) will be the preparation of faith in Christ - not of some clever plans or perfectly knowing the time of Jesus' arrival or having any other kind of preparations. And yet, the preparations per John's warnings to his letters to the Christians before the horrors unleashed upon them by Nero and Rome, were but temporal / practical AND spiritual.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#85

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:18 am

The whole point of Jesus continually saying to NOW focus on WHEN but to be ready ALL the time was so that people would realize that it's not about WHEN you are to do things or believe in Him, it is about DOING AND BELIEVING, NOW and FOREVER.
The time is NOW, be vigilante NOW, be righteous NOW, preach and lead by example NOW.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#86

Post by Philip » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:20 pm

Paul: The time is NOW, be vigilante NOW, be righteous NOW, preach and lead by example NOW.
Yes, very true. But it's important to note that DOING good stuff - even those amongst us who are the most consistent at such things - isn't what saves us. It's the faith in Christ and His indwelling He applies to every Christian at the moment of salvation - faith belief in / committing oneself to following Christ. It's not a matter of WHAT we do, but a matter of WHO we have faith in - the One Who makes us righteous in His eyes, as He applies the shed blood of Jesus to cover ALL of our past, present and future sins.

When I think of Jesus coming back, I so often have a bit of apprehension as I think about just how unworthy I am to be a child of His. But then I quickly remember that God doesn't think like that about us - as He perfectly well knows ALL of our junk! And yet, He positionally and righteously sees Christians as we will one day be - perfectly free of all sin and living in perfect harmony with Him forever. And so, while we know this is what Scripture teaches us, we also know the devil loves to whisper in our ear, "You know YOU aren't worthy of God's love and salvation." I then I remember that the Father of Lies is absolutely correct - I'm NOT worthy - and NO one is - least by man's standards (note that the devil is a cunning master at connecting lies to a truth). But praise God that He doesn't apply human standards to in how He enacts His plan of salvation. His love is a pure love, not fouled by measuring our failures against His perfection. The cleanest and purest amongst us are absolutely saturated in sin, compared to the Holiness of a sinless God. Look across Scripture at the very sinful people God used as prophets, judges, leaders and apostles - a really messed up bunch of people. His love is enough - but we must embrace it and commit ourselves to Him. And then He will do all the rest necessary to bring us into His heaven.
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PaulSacramento
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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#87

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:43 pm

Well said Philip

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#88

Post by Philip » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:39 pm

Been thinking over Revelation, the contention of preterism of the Beast numbered 666. Yes, Nero seems to well fit the warnings of John of that first century tribulation, Nero's fitting the numberings of 666 and 616 (per its Latin transliteration), and the length of time of his rampage against Christians (42 months) - these make sense to be referencing the first Century terror against Christians by Nero.

Ah, but Revelation 13 also references a SECOND beast:

It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence,[c] and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.

11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence,[c] and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.

Somehow, this additional beast has the REAL authority AND is the driver of the evil ones who follow the first beast. Is this the apostate church when pagan influences came into the church - that had it's origins from Roman authority? Is it not driven by Satan himself?

In Revelation 16, we see an epic battle coming:

"13 And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. 14 For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) 16 And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

This battle appears to be instigated by "demonic spirits" and influences. And thus the Seventh Bowl of wrath is poured out - and not that "great hailstones" are dropped "on people":

"17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings,[c] peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. 21 And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds[d] each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.

So, this would seem to be a future battle (to us). It appears to be right before the very end of the world. And it wouldn't seem just a spiritual battle, as it mentions the destruction of cities of nations and people.

And here, in Revelation 17, the angel speaks a mystery:

6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.[a]
When I saw her, I marveled greatly. 7 But the angel said to me, “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

So what is this beast that "was and is not, and is to come?"

Continued (Revelation 17): 9 This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; 10 they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. 11 As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction.

So, in some way, there will be an eight king connected to the other 7 evil kings. Yet verse 10 seems to reference back to the beast of 666 - likely Nero (and still in the future when John wrote).

In Revelation 18, we read: "9 And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.”"
Of course, Rome burned and was nearly destroyed. But reading further, we see: 24“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more;"

Rome survived, so...

In Revelation 19, we see the Rider on the White Horse (Christ! "16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.")

Verses 19 and 20: "19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence[e] had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image."

Revelation 19 would seem in the future - perhaps referencing the SECOND beast? Receiving the mark of the beast seems to be symbolic of allegiance to Satan.

And Chapter 20 is also a great mystery - "And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle.

What I'm sensing is that there is overlap and back and forth with the past (First Century tribulation / Nero) and with things to come. And is this final battle against an evil demonic army or an earthly one?

I can see why a lot of people don't buy the first century tribulation narrative because the text doesn't seem so neatly separated. So what is past (first century), what is the future (to us), and what is an earthly battle and what is one fought by spiritual / demonic forces vs. the army of the Lord? So a first century tribulation may well be a type and parallel to one to come? As the text seems to morph back and forth in time and spiritual planes.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#89

Post by Philip » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:43 pm

Don't know why the last of the post above is all bolded?

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#90

Post by DBowling » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:17 pm

Some Thoughts...
Philip wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:39 pm
And here, in Revelation 17, the angel speaks a mystery:

6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
When I saw her, I marveled greatly. 7 But the angel said to me, “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

So what is this beast that "was and is not, and is to come?"

Continued (Revelation 17): 9 This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; 10 they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. 11 As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction.

So, in some way, there will be an eight king connected to the other 7 evil kings. Yet verse 10 seems to reference back to the beast of 666 - likely Nero (and still in the future when John wrote).

In Revelation 18, we read: "9 And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.”"
Of course, Rome burned and was nearly destroyed. But reading further, we see: 24“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more;"
Using John's definition of symbols in his vision I think we can pretty confidently identify the Beast as Rome and sometimes specific Roman emperors such as Nero Caesar.
What is less well known is that John also identifies who the Whore of Babylon Represents in his vision, which clarifies what is going on in Revelation 17 and 18.

In Revelation 17:18 John offers the first clue as to the identity of the Whore of Babylon.
18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
So John establishes that the Whore of Babylon is the "great city".

Ok... so what is the "great city"?
John tells us earlier in Revelation 11:8
8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
John here establishes that the "great city" as "where their Lord was crucified".

So using John's definitions of symbolic imagery, we see that the Beast represents Rome and the Great Harlot represents unfaithful Jerusalem.

We can now see what is going on in Rev 17 and 18. The Great Harlot (unfaithful Jerusalem) allies itself with the Beast (Rome) to persecute the saints. The Beast (Rome) then turns on the Great Harlot (unfaithful Jerusalem) and destroys it. Which is what Rome did to Jerusalem from 66 AD to 70 AD.

So I am fairly confident that the specific fulfillment of Rev 6-18 refers to the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem (the Great Harlot) by Rome (the Beast) in 70 AD
In Revelation 19, we see the Rider on the White Horse (Christ! "16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.")

Verses 19 and 20: "19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence[e] had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image."
I don't claim to understand all the imagery in Rev 19 or what specifically everything in Rev 19 is referring to.
But this does appear to refer to the destruction of the Beast (Rome) by heavenly armies.

When we look at the battle between Rome and the Church a couple of things come to mind.
Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, issued the Edict of Milan in 313 AD
Constantine became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire in 324 AD.
Eusebius definitely considered the rise of Constantine to power to represent the victory of the Church over the Roman Empire.

The Roman Empire was finally destroyed when the Barbarian Odoader overthrew Rome in 476 AD.

I am also interested in the symbol that represents how the Armies of heaven conquered the armies of the Beast.
Rev 19:15
15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations,
Does a sword coming out of the mouth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords ring a bell?

Hebrews 4:12
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
So the battle between the armies of heaven and the armies of the beast could possibly (I'm not dogmatic on this) refer to the battle between Christianity and Rome that led to the first Christian Emperor of Rome and the eventual destruction of the Roman Empire in 476.
And Chapter 20 is also a great mystery - "And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle.
I agree that Rev 20 indicates that something will happen at the end of the "1000 years" prior to the Final Judgement. We aren't given a whole lot of information. But it could potentially be referring to a still future time of 'tribulation'

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